Saturday, September 08, 2007
I wonder if there'll be a trend of begrudgingly liking James Wright. "Well it's not that bad." That kind of thing. I've written a little about how much I used to like his poems. He's definitely still one of those poets a student who doesn't know anything about contemporary poetry encounters first. Jonathan Mayhew makes a pretty good point here about the translated feel of the poetry. Those poets, from what I can tell, were obsessed with the idea that the only deep poets were Lorca, Vallejo, Rilke and a few others. Kind of a reverse xenophobia. But it seems people like Robret Bly made an artificial connection between these poets. Almost an ideology, which in part became the men's movement. There's a line in Robert Bly, that's like beating you over the head-- "innerness, innerness, innerness". Until one dissappears up one's own asshole? I dunno. You can't say that LV&R, though they became the flagships of "leaping poetry" are all from the same school. I don't know if they ever even met. Maybe Lorca met Vallejo at some point. I know Neruda met Lorca. We can probably thank Robert Bly for the instant association between Lorca and Duende. Of course I was guilty of all these things. In the end, there's something to be said for just taking James Wright's poems as "their own thing". I don't think art happens in a vacuum either, but sometimes the "own thing" approach allows one to do a more close reading. That's only one of the many angles from which one can approach a poem, but an important one once a person has already been inundated with so much background knowledge.